People tend to have strong opinions on what separates a good brownie from a damn good brownie. Is it a soft, gooey center? A dash of espresso powder — to really make the chocolate sing? Maybe it’s the density of the corner pieces, prized for their thick and chocolatey crust. Sometimes our opinions change depending on our mood, and when it comes to selecting the right recipe for a particular moment, timing and setting are everything. So, whether you’re rushing to assemble dessert for your best friend’s dinner party or just sitting around at home with chocolate on your mind, you’re guaranteed to find a brownie that suits your needs somewhere on this shortlist.
The On-the-Go Brownies
Looking for a dessert that can survive a couple of hours in your lunch bag? Many will emerge from their packaging dry and crumbly by afternoon, but Trisha Yearwood’s marbled creation certainly won’t. The toothsome top layer of cream cheese pairs perfectly with the dense, fudgy base.
Valentine’s Day is just days away, and if you’re suddenly experiencing an uh-oh moment at that realization, we have just the advice for you. It’s surely not too late to pick up a bottle of Champagne for you and your bae to share, but if you want to up the romantic ante this year, look no further than a decadent dessert of chocolate. Brownies are a tried-and-true classic, as they’re easy to make and loaded with rich chocolatey flavor. But they’re also somewhat divisive. If you’re a brownie fanatic, you’ll likely land in one of three camps when it comes to preferred brownie texture — chewy, cakey and fudgy — and it’s not likely you can be convinced that another one is better. And that’s OK, because on this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts introduced a trio of recipes for brownie lovers of all kinds. Read on below to learn tips for turning out chewy, cakey and fudgy brownies, then check out all of the chocolate-focused recipes from the show.
Much like chocolate chip cookies and ice cream flavors, brownies are personal. Beyond the myriad mix-ins available (nuts versus no nuts — the debate rages on), the very consistency of a chocolate brownie can provoke strong opinions. Do you like when the crumbly center is similar to that of cake, or do you prefer a chewy interior? Maybe you like something richly fudgy and nearly wet? We want to know which you like best. Cast your vote in the poll below to share your preferences.
Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away, which can mean one of two things, depending on how you feel about this day devoted to romance. Either you’re smitten with the idea of spoiling your significant other, in which case you’ll want to make him or her this over-the-top-decadent Pin of the Week, or you’re determined to look the other way about this holiday and focus on something else, like this Pin of the Week. Ina Garten’s top-rated dessert is ideal both as an extra-special treat for your sweetie — and as an indulgent treat to gift yourself. This gooey, rich showstopper boasts all the fudginess of a brownie but the thickness and shape of a tart.
Meal planning over the weekend for a few nights’ worth of dinners during the week indeed has its merits; after all, who doesn’t want to come home to a nearly-ready-to-eat meal? But you know what’s perhaps even more enticing than supper at the ready? Dessert at the ready. Take a few hours today to prep one of these over-the-top indulgences — think towering chocolate cake, the easiest chocolate chip cookies and buttery lemon bars worthy of citrus season — and get set for some sweet treats during the week when the craving hits.
With a name that will surely stop you in your tracks — and perhaps knock you naked — this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is for the most-serious sweet tooths out there. The Pioneer Woman’s top-rated dessert features a pecan-studded chocolate cake base and topping, but it’s the filling that’s especially indulgent: layers of gooey caramel and semisweet chocolate chips. For added ease in the kitchen, follow Ree Drummond’s lead and opt for boxed cake mix to keep this recipe fuss-free.
For more decadent inspiration, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake board on Pinterest.
While there are times when you’re cooking for an obvious purpose — tonight’s dinner, the potluck on Saturday, a holiday feast — other times (and perhaps the best times) it’s for pure indulgence. And that’s especially the case when chocolate is concerned. When it comes to treating yourself to a just-because dessert, look no further than these six best-ever brownie recipes from Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, Ina Garten, The Pioneer Woman and more of your favorite Food Network chefs.
Peanut Butter Caramel Swirled Brownies
Leave it to an Iron Chef to create this sweet tooth-satisfying brownie masterpiece. Bobby makes his own peanut butter-laced caramel to swirl into his two-chocolate brownies. After building the brownies strategically — with a base batter, then dollops of caramel, then more batter, and finally the last of the caramel — he swirls the components together to achieve “a stealth peanut butter brownie.” It’s called that, according to Bobby, because “you can’t see the peanut butter, but you can taste it.”
A pan of freshly baked brownies can do a lot of things. It can round out a bake sale, satiate a soccer team or finish off a dinner party just right. It can ease a breakup, make a movie night complete or work as the base for a crazy-good ice cream sundae. But, in the end, a good brownie doesn’t need anything to be the best dessert ever; it can shine without a glass of milk whether it’s cut from the corner or the gooey center of the pan. In the spirit of brownie obsession, run down the line of the top 10 ways you can make your next batch disappear from the pan.
1. Go for store-bought cake mix — and then go absolutely crazy.
Ree Drummond’s Knock-You-Naked Brownies (pictured above) may start with a box of German chocolate cake mix, but you DIY-or-bust folks would be silly to let that stop you. With evaporated milk and caramel candies, Ree makes a decadent caramel sauce to drizzle over her first layer of batter, which she also tops with chocolate chips.
You would never guess that these marbled brownies combine two decadent treats, lightened up. The cheesecake layer is made with reduced-fat cream cheese while low-fat buttermilk keeps the brownie base moist and fudgy. You’ll quickly see why these brownies are this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week.
For more dessert recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Bake board on Pinterest.
Golden-brown pies with fresh, seasonal produce are some of summer’s top treats, but when a chocolate craving strikes, brownies are the ultimate way to satisfy that sweet tooth once and for all. Just like cookies, brownies are quick to prepare and easy to pack, which means that they’re a go-to pick for picnics and potlucks alike. Master a classic recipe, like Alton’s Cocoa Brownies listed below, then experiment with such sweet and salty additions as marshmallows, caramel and peanut butter. Read on below to get Food Network’s top-five traditional and creative brownie recipes from Bobby, Alton, Giada and more.
5. Cheesecake Brownies — Surprisingly light and simple to make, these moist brownies boast a buttermilk-laced batter and a smooth sweetened-cream cheese topping. Mix the two together to create an impressive swirled effect.
4. S’more Brownies — Turn the campfire favorite into an everyday treat by using classic s’more ingredients — graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows — to create layers of flavor in brownies.